Fantastic Structures: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Fantastic Structures (Colouring Books) is illustrated by Steve McDonald and is published and was kindly sent to me to review by Chronicle Books. This book is pretty huge at 30cm square, it’s paperback with flexible card covers with a full colour picture from inside the book on the front and back. The paper is bright white and lightly textured and it’s pretty thick so it’s perfect for pencils and water-based fineliners which didn’t bleed or shadow at all! The images are printed double-sided and each is contained to a single page and fills the whole page, with no border except for a white 1cm strip down the spine-edge of each image which has the title of the building pictured so you know exactly where in the world you’re colouring. The spine is glue and string bound, unusually with a bright pink string, so the spine is durable but a little stiff until you’ve bent it a few times but the whole image is accessible because of the blank strip. The book contains 60 pages, most of the images are of buildings and structures found around the world and 12 of the images are of mandalas that Steve has created from aspects or sections of a building that he’s also drawn accurately in the book and these images are on the same double-page spread and are titled so they’re easy to identify so you can colour them realistically if you wish. A number of famous, and less well-known structures are included from St Basil’s Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower, LAX Terminal to Sydney Opera House, Tower Bridge to the Prague Astronomical Clock, the “Gherkin” to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan and many more. There are modern buildings, historical buildings, houses, castles, churches, libraries and more, there is a huge variety of structures to satisfy all your colouring curiosities.

In terms of mental health, this is a great book if you like buildings and like a time-consuming image that requires a lot of concentration because this book offers those things in bucket-loads. The intricacy level does vary a little but mostly it’s very intricate and detailed so you’ll need very good vision and fine motor control and sharp pencils or fineliners. The line thickness is thin and spindly thin throughout and the images are very large with loads of aspects to colour so you will need good focus and concentration in order to fully utilise this book. I didn’t find that the image content had much effect on my mood, it’s not specifically calming or energising but it certainly keeps you absorbed and transports you to the place that building is in the world so it definitely offers escapism. This book wouldn’t suit those of you with fluctuating conditions, or those of you with poor concentration levels because it will simply overwhelm you, however, for those of you who are interested in buildings and travel and can focus on colouring for a few hours at a time, this book would be absolutely ideal!

I would highly recommend this book to people who are interested in structures and buildings and who want to travel the world from their own home. You will need very good vision, fine motor control and concentration but for those of you with all of those, this book is fantastic and offers hours and hours of escapism!

You can purchase a copy of the book here:
Amazon UK – Fantastic Structures (Colouring Books)
Book Depository Worldwide –

Steve’s first book Fantastic Cities can be purchased here:
Amazon UK – Fantastic Cities
Book Depository Worldwide –

A third book in the series is being published in July called Fantastic Collections which can be pre-ordered here:
Amazon UK – Fantastic Collections: A Coloring Book of Amazing Things Real and Imagined (Fantastic Cities)

The image below was coloured using a variety of fineliners and a gold gel pen.

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